Top 5 Tips For Driving With A Baby On Board

Mother Putting Baby in Child Car Seat

Baby on Board’ signs are a common sight across the world, and let the driving community know that you’re transporting precious cargo. What they don’t do, however, is keep your baby safe or entertained when you’re on the road. We know how to keep the kids happy on long trips, but not all of us know how to drive with a baby. And that’s why we’ve listed our top five tips below.

1. Choose The Right Car Seat

There’s a wide range of baby seats available, with car seats made for children up to 135cm tall, so you should always check that you’ve chosen one that’s the best fit for your child.

You should test out a few car seats before you make a purchase, just to make sure that it’s the correct size for your child and that it properly fits in your car. You should also change your baby’s seat as they grow.

During the first year of your baby’s life, they should sit in a rear-facing car seat. This is the best choice because it fully supports your baby’s neck, head and upper body in the event of a crash.

After your child has outgrown their first seat, you can then swap to a forward-facing seat.

2. Drive With A Parent In The Back

Your baby will always feel most comfortable when they’re accompanied by one of their parents, and this doesn’t change when you’re in the car.

If you’re both in the car, then one of you should sit in the back seat. You’ll be able make the car a more fun place, keeping your child entertained by singing, playing games or just distracting them so that the journey goes more quickly.

You can even keep some supplies, like books, toys and emergency wipes in a seat organiser, just in case you need anything extra to hand if you need to avoid a tantrum.

3. Get A Car Baby Mirror

Baby In Car Seat Mirror

There will be times when you need to drive alone with your baby in the back, and when this happens, it’s tempting to want to watch their every move. It’s a recipe for becoming distracted – always dangerous when you’re driving. Rather than doing this (or pulling over every five minutes to check on them) you should pick up a car baby mirror

When your baby needs to be in a rear-facing car seat, then it’s illegal for you to drive with them in the front seat, so you’ll need to pop them into the back. And this is why investing in a back seat mirror is one of the best tips for driving with a baby. You attach this piece of kit to a rear headrest, and when it’s in place, you’ll be able to turn to see their face and get peace of mind knowing they’re comfortable. 

Once your child is old enough for a forward-facing seat, they can legally travel in the front passenger seat. However, it’s considered dangerous for them to do so because if you’re involved in an accident, they’re at higher risk of sustaining impact injuries from the car or the airbag. This is why you should always look to drive with your baby’s seat placed in the rear seats. When they’re facing forward you won’t have to look away from the road to keep your eyes on them thanks to a specialist baby mirror that you can attach to your rear-view mirror. 

4. Plan Ahead For Longer Trips

If you’re planning a long car journey with your baby in the back, then remember to plan your route well in advance.

Both car manufacturers and healthcare professionals suggest that a baby shouldn’t spend more than two hours in a car seat, and that they will also need an extended period out of their seat. You can use these stops to your advantage, giving yourself time to move around, relax and have a proper break with your child.  

It’s a good idea to combine these stops with a feeding or meal break, because it means you’re less likely to have to deal with wind or an emergency nappy change. So, pick out a selection of possible spots to stop at along the way.

5. Always Be Prepared

Baby Sun Shades Car Seat

You may have plotted your road trip down to a tee, but if you’re travelling with a baby on board, then you should always expect the unexpected.

Make sure that the nappy bag is well-stocked, just in case you need to make multiple bathroom breaks. Plus, you should always keep a well-maintained first-aid kit in the car, alongside any prescription medicines older children may need, especially if they suffer from travel sickness. 

It might not feel like a top priority in the UK but you should keep some sun shades in your car throughout the year. They can shield your child from the glare and heat of the sun, as well as reducing the brightness of lights at night.

Keep a supply of snacks in the car for both you and your baby because you never know when you might run into traffic. But make sure someone’s sat next to them in the back or you’re pulled over while they’re eating, so that you can make sure they don’t choke. Meanwhile, if your baby is still on a liquid diet, then you should always stop, because it’s too risky to take them out of their seat while you’re on the road.

Feeling happier about driving with your baby? Here at Euro Car Parts our stock of more than 130,000 car parts and accessories includes a great range of products that make travelling with the kids a whole lot easier.